I used to be a huge fanboy of guitar shredders and instrumental albums. I still love me some shredding, but have soured on the instrumental albums simply because the albums started to become bland. Players focused more on speed than melody. Yngwie Malmsteen is an amazing guitar player that knows how to play ridiculously fast, but exceptionally melodic as well. Another one of my favorite guitar players is David Gilmour. He has more melody in one of his solos than most guitar players have in their entire discrography.
Now, to actually get to the point of this review. “Chaos Theory” is the debut release from Grocki (Mark Grocki) hailing from Connecticut in the good old U.S. Grocki can shred, but knows how to actually put together a song as well. “Chaos Theory” contains 6 tracks, but each stand on its own very well. Most tracks are longer than your typical instrumental track clocking in at the 6-7 minute range.
To get a feel for his music, think of someone like Joe Satriani, but a little heavier. Before you start thinking that I am crazy putting Grocki into this category listen to the album and see if you then disagree. Grocki definitely has the chops to play with guys like Satch and Vai easily. Heck, if we were in the 80s, he would have achieved fame pretty quickly with the skills that he showcases.
The album opens with the completely shredding Vendetta which hits massive speeds, but stays on point through its entire near 7 minutes of length. The title track, Chaos Theory, shows that Grocki knows a little something about rhythm work as well. There are some serious riffs going on here.
A Twist of Fate is an 8 minute epic track that toys with the listener. It is melodic, but explodes at just the right times. The teases of speed are there, but the track is remains powerful on the massive sound of this one. After midway through the song, it picks up speed and hits you with a sonic boom of heavy riffs that will satisfy any level of headbanger.
Ascension, which may be my favorite track on the album, is one of the shorter tracks on the album, but no less powerful. It reminds me of Satriani’s Summer Song in a way with its groove. Ascension seems like more of a throwback tune to guitar shredding days of old.
Overall, if you are into shredders, you need to add this one to your collection. If you are on the fence about instrumental albums, this one may push your over that fence. It is a good one.
Chaos Theory Track Listing:
1. Vendetta 06:53
2. Chaos Theory 06:18
3. A Twist of Fate 07:55
4. Ascension 05:27
5. Coma (Awake in a Dream) 05:21
6. Retribution 06:12
Total playing time 38:06